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"No sound is more terrifying to the creatures of the Mandalorian night than the piercing cry of the jai'galaar, the shriek-hawk. Shriek-hawks are peerless hunters, but never more dangerous than when defending their nests."
Tor Vizsla[src]

Shriek-hawks were a species of avian predator native to the Outer Rim world of Mandalore. Known as a jai'galaar in the Mandalorian language of Mando'a, the shriek-hawk possessed a unique cry—loud and piercing—from which it earned its name. Its natural prowess as a hunter made the shriek-hawk an icon in the Mandalorian culture, inspiring traditional iconography such as the jaig eyes sigil, and the stylized symbol of Clan Vizsla.

Biology and behavior[edit | edit source]

Shriek-hawks were an avian species indigenous to the planet Mandalore,[1] located in the Outer Rim Territories of the galaxy.[2] Efficient predators who hunted their prey in the dark of night,[1] shriek-hawks were winged and possessed sharp talons. They were known to strike from above, swooping and diving down upon their kill with their wings folded back and their talons outstretched.[3] Shriek-hawks had a unique, piercing cry, and were vigorous defenders of their nests.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Native to the planet Mandalore, shriek-hawks evolved on the Outer Rim world and adapted to hunting[1] in it's varied environments.[2] The many creatures that called Mandalore their home came to fear the sound of a shriek-hawk's cry,[1] and the Mandalorians took to calling the predatory avians jai'galaare—a term in the Mando'a language which meant "shriek-hawks," originating the name later used for the creature by Basic-speaking society.[4] After the Galactic Republic launched a pre-emptive assault on Mandalorian space in 738 BBY, bringing devastation to Mandalore in an effort to curb a rise in Mandalorian militancy,[5] shriek-hawks were driven to extinction[6] in the portions of the planet transformed into white sand desert[7] by the Republic attack,[5] though they survived elsewhere on Mandalore.[1]

The stylized sigil of Clan Vizsla, inspired by a diving shriek-hawk

The jai'galaar's reputation as a peerless hunter made the animal a well known symbol in the Mandalorian culture. The Mandalorian Vizsla clan took a stylized image[8] of a shriek-hawk in mid-dive[3] as the sigil of their clan.[8] Following the foundation of the radical Death Watch splinter group by Tor Vizsla,[9] the shriek-hawk sigil of Clan Vizsla was adapted by the Death Watch in turn.[1] The shriek-hawk also inspired another Mandalorian sigil, jai'galaar'la sur'haii'se, or "shriek-hawk eyes." These jaig eyes, as they were more commonly referred to, were a unique marking awarded by Mandalorian clan chieftains as a means of recognizing a soldier's outstanding bravery.[10] The custom of awarding jaig eyes transferred to the Grand Army of the Galactic Republic, whose Mandalorian training sergeants authorized distinguished clone troopers to wear the battlefield honor.[7] That same Mandalorian influence led the clone captain and pilot CT-55/11-9009 to take on the name Jai'galaar as his own,[11] in reference to the predatory bird.[1]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The term Jai'galaar was first introduced to Star Wars canon in the eighty-fourth issue of Star Wars Insider, where it was mentioned in reference to the clone trooper Captain Jai'galaar in Karen Traviss and Ryan Kaufman's article, the Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic.[11] Traviss' subsequent article for the Insider magazine's eighty-sixth issue, entitled The Mandalorians: People and Culture, introduced the Basic translation of jai'galaar as shriek-hawk, and established the creature's connection to the Mandalorian homeworld and culture.[10] The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia mentioned the shriek-hawk under an informational entry on "jai'galaar,"[12] and both the Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia[8] and The Clone Wars: New Battlefronts: The Visual Guide refer to the shriek-hawk in regard to the jaig eyes battle honors and Clan Vizsla's clan sigil.[7] Further information on shriek-hawks came with the release of The Bounty Hunter Code: From the Files of Boba Fett reference book in 2013.[1]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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